How to topple ancient social structure?

Governments should fear air pumps and steam engines because they improve the efficiency of production. When efficiency is improved it makes profits higher and increases labor efficiency. When profit margins increase the people that owns the business can control the working class by spreading the wealth or appearing to be for the people. These “radicalContinue reading “How to topple ancient social structure?”

To Defy the Laws of Tradition

The idea that governments and religions should “tremble at an air pump or an electric machine,” is not an idea that is meant to be taken literally. Rather, Priestley’s quote plays at the idea that new innovations in science and industry challenge the conservative nature of world governments and religious authority. This can be exemplifiedContinue reading “To Defy the Laws of Tradition”

The Power of Progress

The reason governments and religion should be afraid of air pumps and electrical machines is simply because scientific advancement is such a powerful tool. Whoever holds the newest technology inevitably holds more power over those who don’t have access or understanding of it. In Priestley’s eyes, conflict from the outside world looked like progress, butContinue reading “The Power of Progress”

Man vs. Machine

The main reason that political and religious leaders should be afraid of scientific inventions such as the air pump is that it give more power to the average person and undermines their authority. The average person, with the help of technology, can start the explore the scientific world. Johnson mentions this on page 132 whenContinue reading “Man vs. Machine”

Social Sciences v. Engineering

According to Johnston, what is a “technological fix,” or techno-fix? Why have techno-fixes become popular among political and economic elites, especially after World War II? And why, according to Huesemann and Huesmann, should we be cautious or skeptical about techno-fixes? According to Johnston, a “technological fix” is the idea of using technology as a “cure-all.”Continue reading “Social Sciences v. Engineering”

It’s just a little Air-Pump

Steven Johnson in the Invention of Air goes to great length to explain the importance of science and innovation to society. One of the biggest ways technological innovation impacts society is through the transfer of energy. As Johnson explained earlier in his book, the transfer of energy is one of the major drivers for humanContinue reading “It’s just a little Air-Pump”

Fear of the Future

For the question “Why should governments or religions fear air pumps and electrical machines?”, it isn’t about literal air pumps and electrical machines – it’s about development and change. Governments fear change as new developments question their authority. Those with power have a hard time giving it up (as we see in our current government).Continue reading “Fear of the Future”

History Methods

‘Progessive history’ focuses more on an individual person’s success and creations, which can have numerous forces affecting the outcome, like personal matters, other technological advancements, etc. ‘Paradigm shift history’ seems more exploratory, or a ‘question everything’ sort of method. No outside forces can touch it. When I think of this model, I really think ofContinue reading “History Methods”

Long But Worth It

The final question of the reading prompt asks us to examine the notion of a technological fix and it’s potential pitfalls. There is, however, a definitional flaw at the heart of this discussion which, in my opinion, obscures the true nature of the problem.  To really understand the issues associated with a techno-fix, one mustContinue reading “Long But Worth It”

That was a Roller Coaster

Before reading this, I never really thought technology fixing was a specific ideal, and on top of that that it was something that I believed in. And then all of a sudden, my new found belief was criticized and I thought to myself, “Do I actually believe in this?” Techno-fix is the idea that allContinue reading “That was a Roller Coaster”